Daily Nutrient Goals of the DASH Diet

The DASH eating plan includes a certain number of daily servings from a variety of food groups. Specific recommendations depend on a number of factors, including individual caloric needs and existing medical conditions. Your age, gender, physical activity level, and whether you want to lose/gain weight or maintain your current weight help determine your caloric needs. Talk to your health care provider or registered dietician to develop a healthy eating plan that’s right for you.

In general, daily goals of the DASH diet are as follows:

  • Total fat–27 percent of calories
  • Saturated fat–6 percent of calories
  • Protein–18 percent of calories
  • Carbohydrate–55 percent of calories
  • Cholesterol–150 mg
  • Sodium–2,300 mg (1,500 mg in people with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, middle-aged and older adults, and African Americans)
  • Potassium–4,700 mg
  • Calcium–1,250 mg
  • Magnesium–500 mg
  • Fiber–30 mg

Here are the average daily or weekly food servings recommended by the DASH eating plan (based on about 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 a day for men):

  • Whole grains: 6–8 servings per day for women, 8–10 servings for men
  • Vegetables: 4–servings per day for women, 5-6 for men
  • Fruits: 4–5 servings per day for women, 5–6 for men
  • Fat-free/low-fat dairy: 2–3 servings per day for women, 3 for men
  • Fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs: 6 servings or less per day for women and men
  • Nuts, seeds, legumes: 4–5 servings per week for women, 1 serving a day for men
  • Fats/oils: 2–3 servings per day for women, 3 for men
  • Added sugars, sweets: 5 servings or less per week for women, 2 servings or less per day for men
  • Maximum sodium: 2,300 mg per day or 1,500 mg or less if recommended by your health care provider

Remember to read the Nutrition Facts label and pay attention to serving sizes of the foods you eat. For more information, please read Your Guide to Healthy Food Portions.

DASH Diet Family Image

Please Note: If you are currently taking medication to control blood pressure, continue to take it as directed and notify your doctor that you are following the DASH eating plan. Also, check with your health care provider before using reduced-sodium products or salt substitutes that contain potassium chloride to lower your intake of sodium. Potassium chloride can be harmful in people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com

Published: 18 Oct 2012

Last Modified: 13 Jul 2013